|State of Wyoming|
|Nickname(s): Equality State (official);
Cowboy State; Big Wyoming;
|Motto(s): Equal Rights|
(and largest city)
|Largest metro||Cheyenne Metro Area|
|• Total||97,814 sq mi
|• Width||372.8 miles (600 km)|
|• Length||280 miles (452 km)|
|• % water||0.7|
|• Latitude||41°N to 45°N|
|• Longitude||104°3'W to 111°3'W|
|• Total||586,107 (2015 estimate)|
|• Density||5.97/sq mi (2.31/km2)
|• Highest point||Gannett Peak
13,809 ft (4209.1 m)
|• Mean||6,700 ft (2040 m)|
|• Lowest point||Belle Fourche River at South Dakota border
3,101 ft (945 m)
|Before statehood||Wyoming Territory|
|Admission to Union||July 10, 1890 (44th)|
|Governor||Matt Mead (R)|
|• Upper house||Senate|
|• Lower house||House of Representatives|
|U.S. Senators||Mike Enzi (R)
John Barrasso (R)
|U.S. House delegation||Cynthia Lummis (R) (list)|
|Time zone||Mountain: UTC -7/-6|
|Wyoming state symbols|
The Flag of Wyoming
The Seal of Wyoming
|Bird||Western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)|
|Fish||Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki)|
|Flower||Wyoming Indian paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia)|
|Grass||Western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii)|
|Mammal||American bison (Bison bison)|
|Reptile||Horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglassi brevirostre)|
|Tree||Plains cottonwood (Populus sargentii)|
|Song||"Wyoming" by Charles E. Winter & George E. Knapp|
|State route marker|
Released in 2007
|Lists of United States state symbols|
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (July 2016)|
Wyoming i// is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The state is with its quarter million-plus sq km the tenth largest by area, but having less than 600,000 people the least populous and the second least densely populated of the 50 united states. Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho. Cheyenne is the capital and the most populous city in Wyoming, with a population estimate of 62,448 in 2013.
The western two-thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High Plains.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Climate
- 3 History
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Wind River Indian Reservation
- 8 State law and government
- 9 Counties
- 10 Cities and towns
- 11 Metropolitan areas
- 12 Education
- 13 Sports
- 14 State symbols
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Location and size
As specified in the designating legislation for the Territory of Wyoming, Wyoming's borders are lines of latitude, 41°N and 45°N, and longitude, 104°3'W and 111°3'W (27° W and 34° W of the Washington Meridian), making the shape of the state a latitude-longitude quadrangle. Wyoming is one of only three states (along with Colorado and Utah) to have borders along only straight latitudinal and longitudinal lines, rather than being defined by natural landmarks. Due to surveying inaccuracies during the 19th century, Wyoming's legal border deviates from the true latitude and longitude lines by up to half of a mile (0.8 km) in some spots, especially in the mountainous region along the 45th parallel. Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho. It is the tenth largest state in the United States in total area, containing 97,814 square miles (253,340 km2) and is made up of 23 counties. From the north border to the south border it is 276 miles (444 km); and from the east to the west border is 365 miles (587 km) at its south end and 342 miles (550 km) at the north end.
The Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. The state is a great plateau broken by many mountain ranges. Surface elevations range from the summit of Gannett Peak in the Wind River Mountain Range, at 13,804 feet (4,207 m), to the Belle Fourche River valley in the state's northeast corner, at 3,125 feet (952 m). In the northwest are the Absaroka, Owl Creek, Gros Ventre, Wind River and the Teton ranges. In the north central are the Big Horn Mountains; in the northeast, the Black Hills; and in the southern region the Laramie, Snowy and Sierra Madre ranges.
The Snowy Range in the south central part of the state is an extension of the Colorado Rockies in both geology and appearance. The Wind River Range in the west central part of the state is remote and includes more than 40 mountain peaks in excess of 13,000 ft (4,000 m) tall in addition to Gannett Peak, the highest peak in the state. The Big Horn Mountains in the north central portion are somewhat isolated from the bulk of the Rocky Mountains.
The Continental Divide spans north-south across the central portion of the state. Rivers east of the divide drain into the Missouri River Basin and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. They are the North Platte, Wind, Big Horn and the Yellowstone rivers. The Snake River in northwest Wyoming eventually drains into the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, as does the Green River through the Colorado River Basin.
The Continental Divide forks in the south central part of the state in an area known as the Great Divide Basin where the waters that flow or precipitate into this area remain there and cannot flow to any ocean. Instead, because of the overall aridity of Wyoming, water in the Great Divide Basin simply sinks into the soil or evaporates.
Several rivers begin in or flow through the state, including the Yellowstone River, Bighorn River, Green River, and the Snake River.
Wyoming has 32 named islands, of which the majority are located in Jackson Lake and Yellowstone Lake within Yellowstone National Park in the northwest portion of the state. The Green River in the southwest also contains a number of islands.
More than 48% of the land in Wyoming is owned by the U.S. government, leading Wyoming to rank sixth in the U.S. in total acres and fifth in percentage of a state's land owned by the federal government. This amounts to about 30,099,430 acres (121,808.1 km2) owned and managed by the U.S. government. The state government owns an additional 6% of all Wyoming lands, or another 3,864,800 acres (15,640 km2).
The vast majority of this government land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service in numerous national forests, a national grassland, and a number of vast swathes of public land, in addition to the F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne.
In addition, Wyoming contains areas that are under the management of the National Park Service and other agencies. They include:
- Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
- Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (Forest Service-Ashley National Forest)
National historic trails and sites
- California National Historic Trail
- Independence Rock (Wyoming)
- Fort Laramie National Historic Site
- Medicine Wheel National Historic Site
- Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Wyoming
- Oregon National Historic Trail
- Pony Express National Historic Trail
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway between Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park
Wildlife refuges and hatcheries
- Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
- National Elk Refuge
- Jackson National Fish Hatchery
- Saratoga National Fish Hatchery
Wyoming's climate is generally semi-arid and continental (Köppen climate classification BSk), and is drier and windier in comparison to most of the United States with greater temperature extremes. Much of this is due to the topography of the state. Summers in Wyoming are warm with July high temperatures averaging between 85 and 95 °F (29 and 35 °C) in most of the state. With increasing elevation, however, this average drops rapidly with locations above 9,000 feet (2,700 m) averaging around 70 °F (21 °C). Summer nights throughout the state are characterized by a rapid cooldown with even the hottest locations averaging in the 50–60 °F (10–16 °C) range at night. In most of the state, most of the precipitation tends to fall in the late spring and early summer. Winters are cold, but are variable with periods of sometimes extreme cold interspersed between generally mild periods, with Chinook winds providing unusually warm temperatures in some locations. Wyoming is a dry state with much of the land receiving less than 10 inches (250 mm) of rainfall per year. Precipitation depends on elevation with lower areas in the Big Horn Basin averaging 5–8 inches (130–200 mm) (making the area nearly a true desert). The lower areas in the North and on the eastern plains typically average around 10–12 inches (250–300 mm), making the climate there semi-arid. Some mountain areas do receive a good amount of precipitation, 20 inches (510 mm) or more, much of it as snow, sometimes 200 inches (510 cm) or more annually. The state's highest recorded temperature is 114 °F (46 °C) at Basin on July 12, 1900 and the lowest recorded temperature is −66 °F (−54 °C) at Riverside on February 9, 1933.
The number of thunderstorm days vary across the state with the southeastern plains of the state having the most days of thunderstorm activity. Thunderstorm activity in the state is highest during the late spring and early summer. The southeastern corner of the state is the most vulnerable part of the state to tornado activity. Moving away from that point and westwards, the incidence of tornadoes drops dramatically with the west part of the state showing little vulnerability. Tornadoes, where they occur, tend to be small and brief, unlike some of those that occur a little farther east.
|Casper climate: Average maximum and minimum temperatures, and average rainfall.|
|Average max. temperature °F (°C)||32
|Average min. temperature
|Jackson climate: Average maximum and minimum temperatures, and average rainfall.|
|Average max. temperature °F (°C)||24
|Average min. temperature
Several Native American groups originally inhabited the region now known as Wyoming. The Crow, Arapaho, Lakota, and Shoshone were but a few of the original inhabitants encountered when white explorers first entered the region. What is now southwestern Wyoming became a part of the Spanish Empire and later Mexican territory of Alta California, until it was ceded to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican–American War. French-Canadian trappers from Québec and Montréal went into the state in the late 18th century, leaving French toponyms such as Téton, La Ramie, etc. John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, itself guided by French Canadian Toussaint Charbonneau and his young Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, first described the region in 1807. At the time, his reports of the Yellowstone area were considered to be fictional. Robert Stuart and a party of five men returning from Astoria discovered South Pass in 1812. The Oregon Trail later followed that route. In 1850, Jim Bridger located what is now known as Bridger Pass, which the Union Pacific Railroad used in 1868—as did Interstate 80, 90 years later. Bridger also explored Yellowstone and filed reports on the region that, like those of Colter, were largely regarded as tall tales at the time.
The region had acquired the name Wyoming by 1865, when Representative James Mitchell Ashley of Ohio introduced a bill to Congress to provide a "temporary government for the territory of Wyoming". The territory was named after the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, made famous by the 1809 poem Gertrude of Wyoming by Thomas Campbell, based on the Battle of Wyoming in the American Revolutionary War. The name ultimately derives from the Munsee word xwé:wamənk, meaning "at the big river flat."
After the Union Pacific Railroad had reached the town of Cheyenne in 1867, the region's population began to grow steadily, and the federal government established the Wyoming Territory on July 25, 1868. Unlike mineral-rich Colorado, Wyoming lacked significant deposits of gold and silver, as well as Colorado's subsequent population boom. However, South Pass City did experience a short-lived boom after the Carissa Mine began producing gold in 1867. Furthermore, copper was mined in some areas between the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Snowy Range near Grand Encampment.
Once government-sponsored expeditions to the Yellowstone country began, reports by Colter and Bridger, previously believed to be apocryphal, were found to be true. This led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park, which became the world's first national park in 1872. Nearly all of Yellowstone National Park lies within the far northwestern borders of Wyoming.
On December 10, 1869, territorial Governor John Allen Campbell extended the right to vote to women, making Wyoming the first territory and then U.S. state to grant suffrage to women. In addition, Wyoming was also a pioneer in welcoming women into politics. Women first served on juries in Wyoming (Laramie in 1870); Wyoming had the first female court bailiff (Mary Atkinson, Laramie, in 1870); and the first female justice of the peace in the country (Esther Hobart Morris, South Pass City, in 1870). Also, in 1924, Wyoming became the first state to elect a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who took office in January 1925. Due to its civil-rights history, Wyoming's state nickname is "The Equality State", and the official state motto is "Equal Rights".
Wyoming was the location of the Johnson County War of 1892, which erupted between competing groups of cattle ranchers. The passage of the federal Homestead Act led to an influx of small ranchers. A range war broke out when either or both of the groups chose violent conflict over commercial competition in the use of the public land.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Wyoming was 586,107 on July 1, 2015, a 3.99% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The center of population of Wyoming is located in Natrona County.
In 2014, the United States Census Bureau estimated that the racial composition of the population was 92.7% White American (82.9 non-Hispanic white), 2.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.6% Black or African American, 1.0% Asian American, and 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
According to the 2010 census, the racial composition of the population was 90.7% White American, 0.8% Black or African American, 2.4% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.8% Asian American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 2.2% from two or more races, and 3.0% from some other race. Ethnically, 8.9% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race) and 91.1% Non-Hispanic, with non-Hispanic whites constituting the largest non-Hispanic group at 85.9%.
As of 2015, Wyoming had an estimated population of 586,107, which was an increase of 1,954, or 0.29%, from the prior year and an increase of 22,481, or 3.99%, since the 2010 census. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 12,165 people (that is 33,704 births minus 21,539 deaths) and an increase from net migration of 4,035 people into the state. Immigration resulted in a net increase of 2,264 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 1,771 people. In 2004, the foreign-born population was 11,000 (2.2%). In 2005, total births in Wyoming numbered 7,231 (birth rate of 14.04 per thousand). Sparsely populated, Wyoming is the least populous state of the United States. Wyoming has the second-lowest population density, behind Alaska. It is one of only two states with a smaller population than the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. (the other state is Vermont).
As of 2011, 24.9% of Wyoming's population younger than age 1 were minorities.
In 2010, 93.39% (474,343) of Wyomingites over the age of 5 spoke English as their primary language. 4.47% (22,722) spoke Spanish, 0.35% (1,771) spoke German, and 0.28% (1,434) spoke French. Other common non-English languages included Algonquian (0.18%), Russian (0.10%), Tagalog, and Greek (both 0.09%).
In 2007, the American Community Survey reported that 6.2% (30,419) of Wyoming's population over five years old spoke a language other than English at home. Of those, 68.1% were able to speak English very well, 16.0% spoke English well, 10.9% did not speak English well, and 5.0% did not speak English at all.
A 2010 ARDA report recognized as the largest denominations in Wyoming the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) with 62,804 (11%), the Catholic Church with 61,222 (10.8%) and the Southern Baptist Convention with 15,812 adherents (2.8%). The same report counted 59,247 Evangelical Protestants (10.5%), 36,539 Mainline Protestants (6.5%), 785 Eastern Orthodox Christians; 281 Black Protestants, as well as 65,000 adhering to other traditions and 340,552 unclaimed.
According to the 2012 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report, Wyoming's gross state product was $38.4 billion. As of 2014 the population was growing slightly with the most growth in tourist-oriented areas such as Teton County. Boom conditions in neighboring states such as North Dakota were drawing energy workers away. About half of Wyoming's counties showed population losses. The state makes active efforts through Wyoming Grown, an internet-based recruitment program, to find jobs for young people educated in Wyoming who have emigrated but may wish to return.
As of November 2015, the state's unemployment rate was 4.0%. The composition of Wyoming's economy differs significantly from that of other states with most activity in tourism, agriculture, and energy extraction; and little in anything else.
The mineral extraction industry and travel and tourism sector are the main drivers behind Wyoming's economy. The federal government owns about 50% of its landmass, while 6% is controlled by the state. Total taxable values of mining production in Wyoming for 2001 was over $6.7 billion. The tourism industry accounts for over $2 billion in revenue for the state.
In 2002, more than six million people visited Wyoming's national parks and monuments. The key tourist attractions in Wyoming include Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Devils Tower National Monument, Independence Rock and Fossil Butte National Monument. Each year Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park, receives three million visitors.
Historically, agriculture has been an important component of Wyoming's economy. Its overall importance to the performance of Wyoming's economy has waned. However, agriculture is still an essential part of Wyoming's culture and lifestyle. The main agricultural commodities produced in Wyoming include livestock (beef), hay, sugar beets, grain (wheat and barley), and wool. More than 91% of land in Wyoming is classified as rural.
Mineral and energy production
- Coal: Wyoming produced 395.5 million short tons (358.8 million metric tons) of coal in 2004, greater than any other state. Wyoming possesses a reserve of 68.7 billion tons (62.3 billion metric tons) of coal. Major coal areas include the Powder River Basin and the Green River Basin
- Coalbed methane (CBM): The boom for CBM began in the mid-1990s. CBM is characterized as methane gas that is extracted from Wyoming's coal bed seams. It is another means of natural gas production. There has been substantial CBM production in the Powder River Basin. In 2002, the CBM production yield was 327.5 billion cubic feet (9.3 km3).
- Crude oil: Wyoming produced 53,400,000 barrels (8,490,000 m3) of crude oil in 2007. The state ranked 5th nationwide in oil production in 2007. Petroleum is most often used as a motor fuel, but it is also utilized in the manufacture of plastics, paints, and synthetic rubber.
- Diamonds: The Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine, located in Colorado less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from the Wyoming border, produced gem quality diamonds for several years. The Wyoming craton, which hosts the kimberlite volcanic pipes that were mined, underlies most of Wyoming.
- Natural gas: Wyoming produced 2,254 trillion cubic feet (63,83 trillion m3) of natural gas in 2007. The state ranked 2nd nationwide for natural gas production in 2007. The major markets for natural gas include industrial, commercial, and domestic heating.
- Trona: Wyoming possesses the world's largest known reserve of trona, a mineral used for manufacturing glass, paper, soaps, baking soda, water softeners, and pharmaceuticals. In 2008 Wyoming produced 46 million short tons (41.7 million metric tons) of trona, 25% of the world's production.
- Wind power: Because of Wyoming's geography and high-altitude, the potential for wind power in Wyoming is one of the highest of any state in the US. The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is the largest commercial wind generation facility under development in North America. Carbon County is home to the largest proposed wind farm in the US. However, construction plans have been halted because of proposed new taxes on wind power energy production.
- Uranium: Although uranium mining in Wyoming is much less active than it was in previous decades, recent increases in the price of uranium have generated new interest in uranium prospecting and mining.
Unlike most other states, Wyoming does not levy an individual or corporate income tax. In addition, Wyoming does not assess any tax on retirement income earned and received from another state. Wyoming has a state sales tax of 4%. Counties have the option of collecting an additional 1% tax for general revenue and a 1% tax for specific purposes, if approved by voters. Food for human consumption is not subject to sales tax. There also is a county lodging tax that varies from 2% to 5%. The state collects a use tax of 5% on items purchased elsewhere and brought into Wyoming. All property tax is based on the assessed value of the property and Wyoming's Department of Revenue's Ad Valorem Tax Division supports, trains, and guides local government agencies in the uniform assessment, valuation and taxation of locally assessed property. "Assessed value" means taxable value; "taxable value" means a percent of the fair market value of property in a particular class. Statutes limit property tax increases. For county revenue, the property tax rate cannot exceed 12 mills (or 1.2%) of assessed value. For cities and towns, the rate is limited to 8 mills (0.8%). With very few exceptions, state law limits the property tax rate for all governmental purposes.
Personal property held for personal use is tax-exempt. Inventory if held for resale, pollution control equipment, cash, accounts receivable, stocks and bonds are also exempt. Other exemptions include property used for religious, educational, charitable, fraternal, benevolent and government purposes and improvements for handicapped access. Mine lands, underground mining equipment, and oil and gas extraction equipment are exempt from property tax but companies must pay a gross products tax on minerals and a severance tax on mineral production.
Wyoming does not collect inheritance taxes. Because of the phase-out of the federal estate tax credit, Wyoming's estate tax is not imposed on estates of persons who died in 2005. There is limited estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.
In 2008, the Tax Foundation ranked Wyoming as having the single most "business friendly" tax climate of all 50 states. Wyoming state and local governments in fiscal year 2007 collected $2.242 billion in taxes, levies, and royalties from the oil and gas industry. The state's mineral industry, including oil, gas, trona, and coal provided $1.3 billion in property taxes from 2006 mineral production. Wyoming receives more federal tax dollars per capita in aid than any other state except Alaska. The federal aid per capita in Wyoming is more than double the U.S. average.
As of 2016, Wyoming does not require the beneficial owners of LLCs to be disclosed in the filing, which creates an opportunity for a tax haven, according to Clark Stith of Clark Stith & Associates in Rock Springs, Wyoming, a former Republican candidate for Wyoming secretary of state.
The largest airport in Wyoming is Jackson Hole Airport, with over 500 employees. Three interstate highways and thirteen U.S. highways pass through Wyoming. In addition, the state is served by the Wyoming state highway system.
Interstate 25 enters the state south of Cheyenne and runs north, intersecting Interstate 80 in Cheyenne. It passes through Casper and ends at Interstate 90 near Buffalo. Interstate 80 crosses the Utah border west of Evanston and runs east through the southern half of the state, passing through Cheyenne before entering Nebraska near Pine Bluffs. Interstate 90 comes into Wyoming near Parkman and cuts through the northern part of the state. It serves Gillette and enters South Dakota east of Sundance.
U.S. Routes 14,16, and the eastern section of U.S. 20 all have their western terminus at the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park and pass through Cody. U.S. 14 travels eastward before joining I-90 at Gillette. U.S. 14 then follows I-90 to the South Dakota border. U.S. 16 and 20 split off of U.S. 14 at Greybull and U.S. 16 turns east at Worland while U.S. 20 continues south Shoshoni. U.S. Route 287 carries traffic from Fort Collins, Colorado into Laramie, Wyoming through a pass between the Laramie Mountains and the Medicine Bow Mountains, merges with US 30 and I-80 until it reaches Rawlins, where it continues north, passing Lander. Outside of Moran, U.S. 287 is part of a large interchange with U.S. Highways 26, 191, and 89, before continuing north to the southern entrance of Yellowstone. U.S. 287 continues north of Yellowstone, but the two sections are separated by the national park.
Wind River Indian Reservation
The Wind River Indian Reservation is shared by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes of Native Americans in the central western portion of the state near Lander. The reservation is home to 2,500 Eastern Shoshone and 5,000 Northern Arapaho.
Chief Washakie established the reservation in 1868 as the result of negotiations with the federal government in the Fort Bridger Treaty. However, the Northern Arapaho were forced onto the Shoshone reservation in 1876 by the federal government after the government failed to provide a promised separate reservation.
Today the Wind River Indian Reservation is jointly owned, with each tribe having a 50% interest in the land, water, and other natural resources. The reservation is a sovereign, self-governed land with two independent governing bodies: the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Government and the Northern Arapaho Tribal Government. The Eastern Shoshone Business Council meets jointly with the Northern Arapaho Business Council as the Joint Business Council to decide matters that affect both tribes. Six elected council members from each tribe serve on the joint council.
State law and government
The executive branch is headed by the governor and includes a secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and superintendent of public instruction. Wyoming does not have a lieutenant governor. Instead the secretary of state stands first in the line of succession.
Wyoming's sparse population warrants it only a single at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and hence only three votes in the Electoral College. Its low population renders Wyoming voters effectively more powerful in presidential elections than those in more populous states. For example, while Montana had a 2010 census population of 989,415 to Wyoming's 563,626, they both have the same number of electoral votes.
Wyoming is an alcoholic beverage control state.
Wyoming's highest court is the Supreme Court of Wyoming, with five justices presiding over appeals from the state's lower courts. Wyoming is unusual in that it does not have an intermediate appellate court, like most states. This is largely attributable to the state's size and correspondingly lower caseload. Appeals from the state district courts go directly to the Wyoming Supreme Court. Wyoming also has state circuit courts (formerly county courts), of limited jurisdiction, which handle certain types of cases, such as civil claims with lower dollar amounts, misdemeanor criminal offenses, and felony arraignments. Circuit court judges also commonly hear small claims cases as well.
Before 1972, Wyoming judges were selected by popular vote on a nonpartisan ballot. This earlier system was criticized by the state bar who called for the adoption of the Missouri Plan, a system designed to balance judiciary independence with judiciary accountability. In 1972, an amendment to article 5 of the Wyoming Constitution, which incorporated a modified version of the plan, was adopted by the voters. Since the adoption of the amendment, all state court judges in Wyoming are nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission and appointed by the Governor. They are then subject to a retention vote by the electorate after one year from appointment.
|2012||68.64% 170,962||27.82% 69,286|
|2008||64.78% 164,958||32.54% 82,868|
|2004||68.86% 167,629||29.07% 70,776|
|2000||67.76% 147,947||27.70% 60,481|
|1996||49.81% 105,388||36.84% 77,934|
|1992||39.70% 79,347||34.10% 68,160|
|1988||60.53% 106,867||38.01% 67,113|
|1984||70.51% 133,241||28.24% 53,370|
|1980||62.64% 110,700||27.97% 49,427|
|1976||59.30% 92,717||39.81% 62,239|
|1972||69.01% 100,464||30.47% 44,358|
|1968||55.76% 70,927||35.51% 45,173|
|1964||43.44% 61,998||56.56% 80,718|
|1960||55.01% 77,451||44.99% 63,331|
Wyoming's political history defies easy classification. The state was the first to grant women the right to vote and to elect a woman governor. On December 10, 1869, John Allen Campbell, the first Governor of the Wyoming Territory, approved the first law in United States history explicitly granting women the right to vote. This day was later commemorated as Wyoming Day. On November 5, 1889, voters approved the first constitution in the world granting full voting rights to women.
While the state elected notable Democrats to federal office in the 1960s and 1970s, politics have become decidedly more conservative since the 1980s as the Republican Party came to dominate the state's congressional delegation. Today, Wyoming is represented in Washington by its two Senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, and its one member of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis. All three are Republicans. The state has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1964, one of only eight times since statehood. At present, there are only two relatively reliably Democratic counties: affluent Teton and college county Albany. In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush won his second-largest victory, with 69% of the vote. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is a Wyoming resident and represented the state in Congress from 1979 to 1989.
Republicans are no less dominant at the state level. They have held a majority in the state senate continuously since 1936 and in the state house since 1964. However, Democrats held the governorship for all but eight years between 1975 and 2011. Uniquely, Wyoming elected Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross as the first woman in U.S. history to serve as state governor. She served from 1925 to 1927 after winning a special election after her husband, William Bradford Ross, unexpectedly died a little more than a year into his term.
The state of Wyoming has 23 counties.
Wyoming license plates contain a number on the left that indicates the county where the vehicle is registered, ranked by an earlier census. Specifically, the numbers are representative of the property values of the counties in 1930. The county license plate numbers are as follows:
Cities and towns
The State of Wyoming has 99 incorporated municipalities.
In 2005, 50.6% of Wyomingites lived in one of the 13 most populous Wyoming municipalities.
The United States Census Bureau has defined two Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) and seven Micropolitan Statistical Areas (MiSA) for the State of Wyoming. In 2008, 30.4% of Wyomingites lived in either of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and 73% lived in either a Metropolitan Statistical Area or a Micropolitan Statistical Area.
|Cheyenne||Laramie County, Wyoming||95,809|
|Casper||Natrona County, Wyoming||80,973|
|Gillette||Campbell County, Wyoming||48,176|
|Rock Springs||Sweetwater County, Wyoming||45,237|
|Jackson||Teton County, Wyoming||32,543|
|Teton County, Idaho||10,275|
|Riverton||Fremont County, Wyoming||40,998|
|Laramie||Albany County, Wyoming||37,422|
|Sheridan||Sheridan County, Wyoming||29,824|
|Evanston||Uinta County, Wyoming||21,066|
Public education is directed by the state superintendent of public instruction, an elected state official. Educational policies are set by the State Board of Education, a nine-member board appointed by the governor. The constitution prohibits the state from establishing curriculum and text book selections; these are the prerogatives of local school boards. The Wyoming School for the Deaf was the only in-state school dedicated to supporting deaf students in Wyoming, but it closed in the summer of 2000.
Wyoming has one public four-year institution, the University of Wyoming in Laramie and one private four-year college, Wyoming Catholic College, in Lander, Wyoming. In addition, there are seven two-year community colleges spread through the state.
Before the passing of a new law in 2006, Wyoming had hosted unaccredited institutions, many of them suspected diploma mills. The 2006 law is forcing unaccredited institutions to make one of three choices: move out of Wyoming, close down, or apply for accreditation. The Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization predicts that in a few years the problem of diploma mills in Wyoming might be resolved.
Due to its sparse population, the state of Wyoming lacks any major professional sports teams. Some of the most popular sports teams in the state are the University of Wyoming teams — particularly football and basketball. High school sports are governed by the Wyoming High School Activities Association, which sponsors 12 sports.
- State bird: western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)
- State coin: Sacagawea dollar
- State dinosaur: Triceratops
- State emblem: Bucking Horse and Rider
- State fish: cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki)
- State flag: Flag of the State of Wyoming
- State flower: Wyoming Indian paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia)
- State fossil: Knightia
- State gemstone: Wyoming nephrite jade
- State grass: western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii)
- State mammal: American bison (Bison bison)
- State motto: Equal Rights
- State nicknames: Equality State; Cowboy State; Big Wonderful Wyoming
- State reptile: horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglassi brevirostre)
- State seal: Great Seal of the State of Wyoming
- State song: "Wyoming" by Charles E. Winter & George E. Knapp
- State sport: rodeo
- State tree: plains cottonwood (Populus sargentii)
- Outline of Wyoming – organized list of topics about Wyoming
- Index of Wyoming-related articles
- List of people from Wyoming
- List of mountain ranges in Wyoming
- List of trails in Wyoming
- "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" (CSV). U.S. Census Bureau. December 26, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
- "Gannett Peak Cairn". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
- Willam J. Gribb; Lawrence M. Ostrech. "Databases and Algorithms to Determine the Boundary of Wyoming" (PDF). University of Wyoming, Department of Geography. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
- Ivars Peterson. "Rectangular States and Kinky Borders". Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
- MainEnvironment.org Public Land Ownership by State, 1995 Main Environment.org
- "CountryStudies.us". CountryStudies.us. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "Countrystudies.us". Countrystudies.us. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- The Yellowstone National Park at Project Gutenberg
- Bright, William (2004). Native American Place Names of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 576
- State of Wyoming – Narrative Archived May 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- State of Wyoming – General Facts About Wyoming Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "South Pass City Historic Site" (PDF). Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails.
- Stevens, Horace Jared; Weed, Walter Harvey; et al. (1911). Mines Register: Successor to the Mines Handbook and the Copper Handbook, Describing the Non-ferrous Metal Mining Companies in the Western Hemisphere.
- Larson, T. A. (1990). History of Wyoming. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-803-27936-0.
- "General Facts about Wyoming", wyoming.gov, Retrieved on July 2, 2008.
- Sodaro, Craig; Adams, Randy (1996). Frontier Spirit: The Story of Wyoming. Johnson Books. pp. 136–39. ISBN 1-55566-163-7.
- Resident Population Data. "Resident Population Data – 2010 Census". 2010.census.gov. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
-  Archived October 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Historical decennial census population for Wyoming counties, cities, and towns". U.S. Census, State of Wyoming. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- "State & County QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "Centers of Population by State". U.S. Census Bureau. 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- "Wyoming QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. United States Census Bureau. 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- Wyoming QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. Quickfacts.census.gov. Retrieved on July 12, 2013.
- "Hispanics fastest growing ethnic group in Wyoming". Billings Gazette via AP. May 21, 2007. Retrieved May 7, 2008.
- "Census 2000 Summary file 3 - Wyoming". American FactFinder. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- Exner, Rich (June 3, 2012). "Americans under age 1 now mostly minorities, but not in Ohio: Statistical Snapshot". The Plain Dealer.
- "Most Spoken Languages in Wyoming in 2010". Modern Language Association. Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Hyon B. Shin; Robert A. Kominski (April 2010). "Language Use in the United States: 2007" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
- "Mississippi and Alabama Most Protestant States in U.S". Gallup.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "State Membership Report: Wyoming". Association of Religion Data Archives. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- "GDP by State". Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- Star-Tribune staff writers (March 29, 2015). "Wyoming's population growth slows". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
...according to Wyoming's Economic Analysis Division
- Julie Turkewitz (July 15, 2015). "Wyoming, Long on Pride but Short on People, Hopes to Lure Some Back". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
This effort has taken the form of an Internet-based recruitment program called Wyoming Grown. Young Wyomingites who have left the state sign up on the program's website, and quickly receive a call from a recruiter who helps link them to work here.
- Bls.gov; Local Area Unemployment Statistics
- "EIA State Energy Profiles: Wyoming". June 12, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Petroleum Association of Wyoming".
- Gearino, Jeff (February 16, 2009). "Soda ash companies enjoy record year". Casper Star Tribune.[dead link]
- Paterson, Leigh (June 14, 2016). "Construction Of Largest U.S. Wind Farm Is On Hold". wyomingpublicmedia.org. Wyoming Public Media. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- Votes back repeal of food tax, Billings Gazette, March 3, 2006
- "Getting the Story Right; Mineral Taxation in Wyoming and West Virginia". West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Blog. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- Wyoming Statutes Section 39-13-103
- "The Tax Foundation – Tax Research Areas – Wyoming". Taxfoundation.org. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "Federal Aid to States for Fiscal Year 2010" (PDF). Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Hamilton, Amy (5 April 2016). "PANAMA PAPERS INCLUDE NEVADA, WYOMING AMONG OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS". 2016 TNT 65-4. Tax Notes Today.
- "Terminal Expansion".
- "Amtrak National Facts". Amtrak.com. National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- "Wind River Country: Wind River Indian Reservation.".
- Background of Wind River Reservation Archived February 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Chiefe: The Rez". PBS. Independent Lens
- "Background: Northern Arapaho Tribe.".
- Hubble, Larry; et al. (2008). The Equality State: Government and Politics in Wyoming (6th ed.). Peosta, Iowa: Eddie Bowers Publishing Co. pp. 91–92. ISBN 978-1-57879-076-0.
- Leip, David. "Presidential General Election Results Comparison – New York". US Election Atlas. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
- "Today in History". The Library of Congress. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "Today in History". The Library of Congress. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
- Teva J. Scheer (2005). Governor lady: the life and times of Nellie Tayloe Ross. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. p. 73. ISBN 0-8262-1626-9.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties of Wyoming: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011" (CSV). 2011 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. April 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- "Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Wyoming, Listed Alphabetically: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008" (CSV). 2008 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 20, 2006. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas - Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". 2013 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- Alleged "diploma mills" flocking to Wyoming, by Mead Gruver, Seattle Times, February 9, 2005
- Unaccredited Colleges Archived July 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Potential problems with degree suppliers located in these states – Wyoming, Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization
- "U. Wyoming Alumni Plan to Build Sport in State" Goff Rugby Report, August 23, 2015.
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